A List of Lists
Everyone does it at sometime. Making lists that is. Lists are popular. Lists make books. There are dozens of books just about lists. Social networking sites encourage you to 'list' so that people will get to know you better.
This is my list of lists. Whether you will know me any better as a result is anybodys guess.
With me you must expect and accept change. I find that my life is being constantly changing and being re-moulded and mended by the things I see, do and read. I seek out new experiences trying to do something new and different every day.
I wrote this article a couple of years ago. Now, I will shortly be turning 68 I thought I would re-visit and revise. A time to reflect. I reckon the years since 60 were the best years of my life. I hope 69 will be better still.
I am not the person I was yesterday.
In no particular order:
Some of My Favourite Books
- Narcissus and Goldmund - Hermann Hesse
- Yoga For People Who Can't Be Bothered To Do It - Geoff Dyer
- The Burning Shore - Wilbur Smith
- The Journeyer - Gary Jennings
- Aztec - Gary Jennings
- Hatha Yoga - Theos Bernard
- I, Jan Cremer - Jan Cremer
- The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
- The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
It was a difficult choice. I checked on the list of 100 best novels of all time and similar and found that I had read a good percentage of them over the years. I enjoyed them too but as to favourites? I don't think any of those I have chosen here hit the list but they are ones I have really enjoyed. Sadly there are books I have really enjoyed whose titles and authors now escape me.
When I'm 64 - Past and gone now.
My 15 Favourite Records
- A Summer Place
- Oh My Papa
- Pattaya Pattaya
- River of No Return
- Beautiful Girls
- Under my Umbrella
- Everybody Knows
- Frankie and Johnny
- I Got You Babe - Sonny and Cher
- Dirty Old Town - The Pogues
- Hotel California - The Eagles
- River Deep Mountain High - Ike and Tina Turner
I cannot sing or play any sort of musical instrument. My attempts at Karaoke can be counted on my fingers and every time except one I was extremely inebriated. I don't know all the words of any song and rarely know much more than the first line. It doesn't matter though because I love music and songs. I care as much for Classical as I do for Country and Western. I like the Blues, Rap and more. Thai popular music may well be my downfall as its spell draws me to events that I may have passed by.
Music and songs though are mainly about memories. Memories about people, places and things. Mostly happy but sometimes sad. There is a real mix here. I could have chosen a hundred.
Theme From 'A Summer Place'
Those who have never visited Pattaya will not appreciate the Pattaya Pattaya song. Those who have built up some sort of judgement of the place without living there for a while won't appreciate it either.
I love being alone. I love the forests, the mountains, the moors and the ocean. I love being alone on a beach or perhaps in a room with a book. I love silence. Pattaya is none of these. All this said....I have never been happier anywhere in my life, ever than I am in Pattaya. I don't judge, I understand and through that understanding accept and enjoy. When I want to be alone I can be.
So I have included two videos here. The 'Pattaya Pattaya' Song and 'I Love This Town' because between them they say it all for me.
Pattaya Pattaya Song
I Love This Town
Favourite Football Team
I haven't got one. I have no interest in the game whatsoever....except in the latter stages of the world cup. It is mostly the only time I have ever watched a game to conclusion. The only other exception is when watching a game with my good friend Om. Her enthusiasm for Liverpool is extremely contagious.
The Car of My Dreams
Again, I haven't got one. I have not the remotest interest in cars and it is extremely doubtful if I could spot many differences between a Lamborghini and a Lada.
I have owned several cars and they were useful for getting from A to B. Some were more comfortable and functional than others. I don't own a car right now and don't miss the stress associated with it. It is about five years since I last sat behind a wheel. Then it was only to take over from my taxi driver who had fallen asleep.
Ten Favourite Fruits
- Kiwi Fruit
- Coxes Orange Pippin (Apple)
- White seedless grapes
Favourite Recording Artists
- Leonard Cohen
- Bob Dylan
- Rita Connolly
Rio - by Rita Connolly
I'm hearing the light from the window
I'm seeing the sound of sea
My feet have come loose form their moorings
And I'm feeling quite wonderfully free
And I think I will travel to Rio
Using the music for flight
There's nothing I know of in Rio
But it's something to do with the night
And it's only a whimsical notion
To fly down to Rio tonight
I probably won't fly down to Rio
But then again I just might
There's wings to the thought behind fancy
There's wings to the thought behind play
And dancing to rhythm of laughter
Makes laughter the rhythm of rain
And I think I will travel to Rio etc.,
I feel such a sense of well-being
The problems have come to......
From the album Valparaiso.
I don't know why but I never tire of this song. Something about "dancing to the rythm of laughter" and using "music for flight".
A couple of Favourite Movies
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show
- O Brother Where Art Though
Difficult one for me this. I enjoy so many movies but there are practically none I would ever wish to see again for at least another twenty years. It is the same with books. I cannot read the same book until a huge span of time has passed. Hence I never ever bought a VHS movie and will only purchase a DVD at throwaway prices...and give them away when watched once.
Five Favourite Foods
Only five? I love food and so I could probably go listing all day so I thought I would restrict myself:
- Roast Poatoes cooked by my good friend Ian McCarrol
- Chicken Soup as cooked by my Thai girlfriend
- Jackson's Cornish Pasties
- Cold Heinz Baked Beans drunk straight from the can
The last three may seem a bit odd and two out of the three I have not eaten since about 1965. The memory lingers on though from those half starved days at boarding school when I really learned to appreciate food.
My Five Favourite Poems
- Under Milk Wood (Dylan Thomas)
- Soul Mate (Robert W. Birch)
- To The Invisible Girl (Thomas Moore - 1779-1852)
- Collected Poems (Roger McGough) I like them all!
- A Small Dragon (Brian Patten)
Then there are those written for me, to me which touch parts of my soul. This in December 2010 after breaking up with the woman I have had the most passionate and fiery of relationship of my life. I don't know if we can ever mend it.
i promise my self,
i wont be sad,
i wont be cry,
Maybe she copied it from somewhere, English is her third language.
Soul Mate by Robert Birch
We met but once as though by chance,
we didn't date, or did we dance.
We looked into each other's eyes
without deception or disguise.
A silent message passed between
your hungry heart was plainly seen.
You saw desire I could not hide,
you looked at me and saw inside.
How could a glance have said so much,
and cause a chill without a touch?
What was that chemistry that night,
that promised what we felt was right?
What satisfaction we'd have missed,
If we had not reached out and kissed.
I do not know if it was you,
or was it I who said, "Let's do."
But on that night our souls were bare
as surely as our bodies there.
Our bodies moved in harmony,
I couldn't tell the you from me.
And locked in passion as we were,
my sense of time began to blur.
I must have known you from before,
how else could you have reached my core?
In life perhaps before this one
what had we shared? What had we done?
With what I felt, emotions vast,
I must have loved you in the past.
But now we go our separate ways,
to different lives throughout our days.
I keep you though within my dreams,
Eternal soul mate, so it seems.
Robert W. Birch
TO THE INVISIBLE GIRL
They try to persuade me, my dear little sprite,
That you’re not a true daughter of ether and light,
Nor have any concern with those fanciful forms
That dance upon rainbows and ride upon storms;
That, in short, you’re a woman; your lip and your eye
As mortal as ever drew gods from the sky.
But I will not believe them–no, Science, to you
I have long bid a last and a careless adieu:
Still flying from Nature to study her laws,
And dulling delight by exploring .............
The Invisible Girl
Six Women I loved (nay... I worshipped) from afar
- Johnny Burns
- Jean Evans
- Margaret Kendrew
- Greta Garbo
- I never knew her name
- The Invisible Girl
- Kim Novak
My Ten Favourite Vegetables (in order of preference)
- Brussel Sprouts
- Runner Beans
- Broad Beans
Actually a lot of these would be determined on how they were picked, when they were picked, how they were stored and cooked. A perfect Brussel Sprout could top the list. A badly cooked Potato could hit the bottom.
- Sir Richard Francis Burton 1821-1890
- Jack Kerouac
- Jan Cremer
- Buddy Casey
- Marco Polo
- Mahatma Ghandi
- Flashman (sort of an anti-hero really, but great fun)
- Charles Darwin
To be honest I really have not got any heroes. There are alot of people I admire for a variety of reasons but I really cannot think of anyone that I would put myself out to walk half a mile to hear sing or talk. There are a lot of friends and family that I would hop ten times the distance for. Perhaps my friends are my true heroes
Sir Richard Francis Burton
My 20 Guests (living or dead) for Dinner
- Jesus Christ
- Mahatma Ghandi
- Jeremy Clarkson
- Steve Jones
- Lyall Watson
- AA Gill
- Christopher Ford
- Richard Dawkins
- David Taylor
- Greta Garbo
- Marilyn Munroe
- Buffy The Vampire Slayer
- Mary Magdalene
My Favourite Authors
- Hermann Hesse
- Geoff Dyer
- Robert Ludlum
- Wilbur Smith
- Richard Dawkins
- Steve Jones
- Roald Dahl
Hermann Hesse quote
When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane
Things I love
- Beautiful women
- Making love to beautiful and interesting women
- Leisurely meals of good food in good company with good wine
- People watching
- Good Zoos
- Elephants, Dogs, Cats and Chimpanzees I have known
- My children
- My friends
- Being under water
- Swimming in rough seas
- Huge Trees
- Bar Girls
- The smell of the desert after rain
- The scent that Sue K used to wear
- Laughter at good and funny things
- More than 3 hours sleep at a time
Some of My Favourite Quotations
- To die would be an awfully big adventure (Peter Pan)
- Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary (Steve Jobs)
- Don’t put off living to next week, next month, next year or next decade. The only time you’re ever living is in this moment.
- Holding on to anything is like holding on to your breath. You will suffocate. The only way to get anything in the physical universe is by letting go of it. Let go & it will be yours forever (Deepak Chopra)
- Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it (Buddha)
- You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream (Les Brown)
- Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive (Howard Thurman)
- Never trust a man who wears white socks.
- Sometimes you have to lose your mind before you can come to your senses (Peaceful Warrior)
- Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open (Sir James Dewar)
There are hundreds of inspiring quotations but really we only need one. Those above are enough to keep anybody going. For me thinking back to people I have met or seen in truly terrible conditions are enough to make me realise just how lucky I really am.
My Top Sixteen Favourite Lovers
- L**** K****
- M** M**
- ? I forget her name
- ? I forget her name as well
Difficult. You didn't seriously think I would name them I hope? I remain a gentleman and I know to whom I refer. Note: With only a couple of exceptions I am still in regular contact with most of these women even years later. They are all my friends.
Ten Things I Dislike Or Hate
- Closed minds/Blinkered thinking
- Animal cruelty
- Men Who Abuse Women verbally or physically
- Football (except during the World Cup)
- Men who wear socks with sandals
- Men who wear sunglasses as an Alice band
My Bucket List
- Spend two weeks in Tokyo
- More time with the people I love
That's it. Bit of a surprise perhaps but I am generally quite content with my life and can't think of anything other than the above that I really want to do.
Do you think you know me any better? If you do then you are probably wrong. I don't reckon we can ever truly get inside another persons head. In thirty years together my wife never got inside mine and if I had managed to get inside hers then we would probably be still together today.
All water under the bridge now. My life is an adventure. I am living it and enjoying it and like Peter Pan looking forward to the next one.
Peter Pan Statue
This Hub was a lot of fun to put together and I would encourage others to do the same. It is something you can pick at in those odd spare moments. At the end of it all I could start writing another tomorrow that would be all so different to this one.